Chew on This: Mind Mapping


What it is:

Here’s the Wikipedia definition of mind mapping: A diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea.

Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid to studying and organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.

My Mind Map:

Mind mapping was introduced to me by my friend Alfa when I was struggling with how to think of my GoErinGo blog. I wasn’t sure if it was a hobby or a budding business and how much time and resources to put into it.

The mind mapping exercise helped me think about GoErinGo as my playground, where I could experiment with writing and other creative ideas and form new friends – basically have fun! As such, it was more than a hobby (something to invest in), but still a place where I could push my own boundaries and allow myself free expression. This “playground” idea really helped me crystallize my thinking.

Mind Map Tools:

I downloaded some free mind mapping software to help me with the exercise, but free-hand drawing helped me think best – most intuitively. The drawing help me free associate and build the linkages between the ideas that I was trying to organize.

That’s really the gist behind mind mapping: to promote non-linear thinking about ideas and thoughts and feelings. It’s supposed to help you view your world through a new perspective. I think it works.

 In fact, I’m undergoing another mind mapping exercise – this time to help me prioritize my personal life. I bought a new set of colored pencils, now if only inspiration would strike!

10 Tips to Get Going:

If you’re interested, Tony Buzan, author of several books on mind mapping, provides these guidelines for creating a Mind Map:

• Start in the center with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colors.

• Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your Mind Map.

• Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters.

• Each word/image is best alone and sitting on its own line.

• The lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The central lines are thicker, organic and flowing, becoming thinner as they radiate out from the centre.

• Make the lines the same length as the word/image they support.

• Use multiple colors throughout the Mind Map, for visual stimulation and also to encode or group.

• Develop your own personal style of Mind Mapping.

• Use emphasis and show associations in your Mind Map.

• Keep the Mind Map clear by using radial hierarchy, numerical order or outlines to embrace your branches.


This entry was posted on Sunday, August 15th, 2010 and is filed under Erin Then.

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